Ike Reiko – You, Baby (Bamboo Records)

SP | Of all the product I’ve encountered from the house of Bamboo, like, fer instance, reissues from Apryl Fool, Flied Egg and the sprawling box set by Magical Power Mako, the label’s oddest and most obvious niche market candidate(tress) must surely be Ike Reiko’s You, Baby album, which was initially released in Japan in 1971 under the title of ‘The Ecstatic World of…’

Ike was a seventeen year old porno starlet who swiftly became a big, big name in a sub-genre of films dubbed ‘Pink Violence’, which were an amalgam of ‘Ms. 45’-style revenge melodramatics and the claustrophobic beastliness at the heart of women-in-prison flicks.

Meanwhile, just to get some perspective, certain sections of the UK populace were in the embrace of the beer’n’fags furtiveness of Mary Millington (who died rather mysteriously in the eighties) and the slightly more refined, cucumber sandwich (with the crusts removed) touch of x-romper Fiona Richmond. But, I’d seriously doubt that either of those ladies, given a recording contract and years of extensive mentoring, could come up with something as, erm, left-field exotic as You, Baby. Though Betty Page fronting a rockabilly band, might run it close…

Surrounded by a mix and match of thriller incidentals, francophile pop and bachelor pad moves, Miss Reiko leaves a trail of breathy coos, sighs and moans that are underpinned by a strange groaning (and probably tape manipulated) sound that resembles a creaking ship’s timber, or possibly, a small rodent in some obvious distress.

A weird listen for sure and not a little unsettling… A coupla rekkid dealers have rubber stamped this as a psyche artifact, which strikes me as a bit fanciful. Instead it’d be more fitting to say that this is the disc that successfully extends the orgasmic vocab. of Serge and Jane’s ‘Je T’aime…’ and adds a little extra stamina to the closing minutes of Esther Phillips’ ‘What a Difference a Day Makes’.

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